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06 March 2015

Bomb

Bomb: The Race to Build - and Steal - the World's Most Dangerous Weapon by Steve Sheinkin is a book of science, espionage and war.

In 1938 a German chemist discovered it was possible to split an atom - by putting uranium next to radioactive material - a thing previously thought of as impossible. Because this phenomenal advancement in physics happened while Nazi Germany was attempting to take over Europe, scientists thought about how to harness the energy created during the fission.

Sheinkin looks at the Manhattan Project. The best physicists and chemists collected by the government to work on a secret weapon in the American Southwest. He describes the British and Norwegian plan to sabotage the German effort to create a weapon - including kidnapping prominent German scientists. And third, an exploration of Soviet attempt to steal the bomb's plans from the Americans.

Sheinkin is a masterful researcher and storyteller. His narrative nonfiction flows in a way that few others writing for children have achieved (others include Susan Campbell Bartoletti and Jim Murphy). This fascinating time in history comes alive in this book.

Sheinkin, Steve. (2012). Bomb. New York: Roaring Book Press.

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